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Twinkle
October 20th, 2007, 11:52 AM
I was talking to Juliaki ( a member here) and this term came up. As I was thinking about it further....I thought this would be an interesting thing to talk about within the Reconstructionist community. I have seen this practice cropping up from time to time in recent months, either with individuals or as part of a specific group. I have had no name for it, so I created one.
Eclectic Reconstructionism
not a formal reconstruction, but a system of philosophy or religion that culls from a variety of systems and reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions, encompassing an assortment of historical periods and cultural styles, using a reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) methodology, with an emphasis on scholarly research and the accurate reenactment of specific rituals and customs.Boy, that is a mouthful!!

I have seen this phenomenon take two forms:
Multi-religious - The observance by an individual or group to two or more reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions, making use of paradigm shifting. This method does not attempt to combine the individual religions, and each remains distinct.

New system - In the spirit of the School of Ammonius Saccas, and other Alexandrian philosophers, a group eclectically blends aspects of different systems of philosophy and/or reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religion, thus creating a completely new religion or system.It is a very interesting trend with two very distinct styles. The multi-religious seem to have a great attention to detail, and are very careful not to mix each of the reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions or cross cultures. Those creating a new system (while using a reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) methodology, and many times attempting to stay within a culturally specific style for each deity) approach their practice as a single integrated religion, with a heavy use of and reliance on Unverified Personal/Group Gnosis to create a uniform theology.

This is a very new trend, or (at the very least) one that only recently started to get some traction. It will be interesting to see what some of these groups will look like 5 and 10 years down the road.

Theres
October 20th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Eclectic Reconstructionism
... using a reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) methodology, with an emphasis on scholarly research...
this part would describe me about as accurately as anything, i guess.


... and the accurate reenactment of specific rituals and customs.
this part less so.

i've always had the same bias against self-proclaimed 'eclectics' as i have seen show up recently in the multiple threads on the topic that are current around here. however i have never really been able to lay claim to the title 'recon' either.

i study endlessly, not just the part of my path that touches on the pantheon i'm involved with, but everything that is in any way related so that i might understand the mindset of the ancients who worshipped this way... the causes rather than just the symptoms, as it were.
however once i'm armed with all this information i apply it to my worship as i see fit and proper.

this is definitely not the "one from column A, one from column B" smorgasbord spirituaity of the 'neo-eclectic every-nothing', but i am certainly not reconstructing anything either. it is rather a common sense application of all the well-studied principles that have fallen my way during the journey. i do try to keep within traditional guidelines, but this is more out of respect and a sense of continuity than any desire to "accurately reenact specific rituals and customs".

so while i do agree that most people who claim the title 'eclectic' belong in the lazy, 'give it all to me in one easy to read book' category, i have to reiterate that this is not by definition. it's just that the true nature of eclecticism makes it an easy genre in which to fake it.
but then by the strictest definition i myself am an eclectic, so whatcha gonna do?

Twinkle
October 20th, 2007, 02:38 PM
So, basically, you are a Hellenist that uses Reconstructionist methodology, but incorporates the information culled from scholarly research into your own personal practice.

In essence, although you're not "reconstructing" anything...your methodology would still make you a Reconstructionist, while your practice would be more eclectic.

The term Eclectic Reconstructionist....if we left off the part about re-enacting ritual and practice...would most accurately define who you are and what you do.

Would this be a correct statement?

If so, we could possibly add a third subset to the term that I have here.

Multi religious - Solitary and/or Group Practice

New System - Group Practice

Personal Practice

Theres
October 20th, 2007, 02:52 PM
So, basically, you are a Hellenist that uses Reconstructionist methodology, but incorporates the information culled from scholarly research into your own personal practice.
'Hellenic Polytheist' has always worked well for me, but yeah, that's pretty good i guess.


In essence, although you're not "reconstructing" anything...your methodology would still make you a Reconstructionist, while your practice would be more eclectic.
we're on firm ground here too, i think.


The term Eclectic Reconstructionist....if we left off the part about re-enacting ritual and practice...would most accurately define who you are and what you do.

Would this be a correct statement?
perhaps, but you'd also have to leave out the...

"but a system of philosophy or religion that culls from a variety of systems and reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions, encompassing an assortment of historical periods and cultural styles".

... my cultural, historical and spiritual allegiances are pretty solidly and almost exclusively Hellenic.

Twinkle
October 20th, 2007, 02:58 PM
You're right Theres...Hellenic Polytheist pretty much covers it.

I just hate to see you get lumped in with the "I'll make it up as I go along" crowd.

It seems that something should designate people like you from the intellectually lazy.

But maybe that's just me.

Theres
October 20th, 2007, 03:03 PM
You're right Theres...Hellenic Polytheist pretty much covers it.

I just hate to see you get lumped in with the "I'll make it up as I go along" crowd.

It seems that something should designate people like you from the intellectually lazy.

But maybe that's just me.
i don't usually find myself in any danger of being lumped in with that crowd (lol!).

i've spent 52 years falling between the cracks, so i'm quite used to it. but i guess 'a label to call my very own' would be nice. :sniffsnif


:lol:

Juniper138
October 20th, 2007, 03:34 PM
I am a Celtic Recon, and a Hedgewitch (http://www.walkingthehedge.org/Hedgewitch.htm). One Recon, the other Eclectic.
Since a Hedgewitch is a kind of "outsider" path, I find I can follow Celtic Recon as an outsider (which is a legitimate part of Celtic Recon) (http://www.paganachd.com/faq/theology.html#outsiders) as a Hedgewitch.
It works for me, though I do get some raised eyebrows.

S_Wodening
October 20th, 2007, 06:14 PM
I am not sure that Eclectic Reconstructionism is possible as it is a bit of an oxymoron. Part of being a reconstructionist is trying to reconstruct all of a religious system. If one is drawing from more than one religion this is not possible. For example someone drawing on Celtic and Norse religions using reconstructionist methods would still not be a reconstructionist because at some point they are going to have to compromise one or both religion's belief systems.

Twinkle
October 20th, 2007, 06:52 PM
I am not sure that Eclectic Reconstructionism is possible as it is a bit of an oxymoron. Part of being a reconstructionist is trying to reconstruct all of a religious system. If one is drawing from more than one religion this is not possible. For example someone drawing on Celtic and Norse religions using reconstructionist methods would still not be a reconstructionist because at some point they are going to have to compromise one or both religion's belief systems.

Well...if you look at the Multi Religious definition you'll see it can be done...and is being done.

I know a man who worships deities from the Norse, Chinese and Greek Pantheons. Now...he has reconstructed the religious systems of all three...using a Reconstructionist methodology....in his worship, he shifts he practice and his paradigm to correspond with each culture and deity.

He is , in fact, an Eclectic Reconstructionist.

juliaki
October 20th, 2007, 08:01 PM
Not much to add to this tonight, as I'm under a deadline or three, but I'm very interested to see where this topic goes. Thank ye kindly!!! :)

Fire-scryer
October 21st, 2007, 12:44 AM
Well...if you look at the Multi Religious definition you'll see it can be done...and is being done.

I know a man who worships deities from the Norse, Chinese and Greek Pantheons. Now...he has reconstructed the religious systems of all three...using a Reconstructionist methodology....in his worship, he shifts he practice and his paradigm to correspond with each culture and deity.

He is , in fact, an Eclectic Reconstructionist.

It is my impression that as a recontructionist, you are reconstructing all of a religious system. From worshiping to way of life. Not only do we worship the way our ancestors did, we live by the same code as they did as well. Acknowledging the fact that times change and we cannot live exactly like they did we adapt within societies standards.

That said, I cannot see how someone could live a Norse lifestyle 100% which to me would be called for if you are truly reconstructing the Norse religion, and then when you need something different you stop following that lifestyle and move over to the Celtic lifestyle. Which, imo, would be the only way to pull this off.

I am not going to tell someone how they sh0uld believe and whether what they believe is right or wrong. That is not my place. But in the spirit of a true reconstructionist religion I just don't see how this type of ecclectisism could work.

As far as studying the other religions and learning as much as they can about the people, their way of life, and their religious practices, I think that makes for one very good Eclectic person. I believe that if someone chooses to incorporate different pantheons into their religion they should do all the legwork involved in learning about those deities so they can show them the proper respect. But I don't think that makes them a reconstructionist, it just makes them Eclectic.

Just my .02

Frith,
Fire

Twinkle
October 21st, 2007, 02:57 AM
While I would agree with you that ethics are also part of a recon paths...they still are orthopraxies...it's not so much what you believe as what you do.

Even in Greece, how the Ancients viewed the Gods, and personal theologies differed. Practice was still the same.

I can see how this form of Eclecticism would work....personal theology may differ, but practice and methodology would be Reconstructionist.

Haerfest Leah
October 21st, 2007, 06:10 PM
I am not sure that Eclectic Reconstructionism is possible as it is a bit of an oxymoron. Part of being a reconstructionist is trying to reconstruct all of a religious system. If one is drawing from more than one religion this is not possible. For example someone drawing on Celtic and Norse religions using reconstructionist methods would still not be a reconstructionist because at some point they are going to have to compromise one or both religion's belief systems.

I was just coming to say the same thing. Eclecticism to a point is just being as some would say, a regualr pagan and not a reconstructionist at all.

Good point Swain on the Celto-Germanic combo.

S_Wodening
October 21st, 2007, 10:36 PM
Well...if you look at the Multi Religious definition you'll see it can be done...and is being done.

I know a man who worships deities from the Norse, Chinese and Greek Pantheons. Now...he has reconstructed the religious systems of all three...using a Reconstructionist methodology....in his worship, he shifts he practice and his paradigm to correspond with each culture and deity.

He is , in fact, an Eclectic Reconstructionist.

I would disagree. I think in order to have an accurate reconstruction you must concentrate on one religion. Ancient pagan religions did not separate religion from culture. When reconstructing an ancient religion you must also reconstruct much of the cultural context. This means going as far as being language sepecific because words contain many of the philiosophical and religious aspects of a culture. When you blend ancient religions, you lose this. Now that is not saying you cannot use reconstrucionist methods. It is to say whatever you come up with is not a reconstructionist religion.

Twinkle
October 21st, 2007, 10:40 PM
Exactly...if you look at the defintion...it's Eclectic Reconstruction, not formal reconstruction.

Twinkle
October 21st, 2007, 10:47 PM
I' appreciate the input. Since the opinion seems to be that Eclecticism and Reconstructionism cannot be put into one definition.....

What would you think of a religion that is Pan Hellenic...Reconstructing Hellenismos throughout Ancient Greece into Egypt.

If gnosis told a Reconstructionist that Zeus was Ammon....and depending on that gnosis they would worship in the Greek or Kemetic fashion.(depending on gnosis)..having statues of both the Greek God and the Kemetic God on their altar....

If there was evidence (a shard of pottery) that there was a temple to Zeus-Ammon in Egypt....

Is that Syncretism...and still Hellenismos....or is it crossing pantheons and Eclecticism?

The definition I have posted here would put it under Eclectic Reconstruction...but since it doesn't seem to be well received....what would this practice be called to y'all?

Haerfest Leah
October 21st, 2007, 10:57 PM
The definition I have posted here would put it under Eclectic Reconstruction...but since it doesn't seem to be well received....what would this practice be called to y'all?

It would be your average Pagan Ecclecticism only slightly more structured I guess.

Twinkle
October 21st, 2007, 11:31 PM
I should let you know that I didn't come up with these definitions, my best friend Tim did.

He's quite busy...and asked me to post it. I realized afterward that I didn't link....so here's the link.

http://www.mind-n-magick.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1192894294/16#16

Malcolm
October 25th, 2007, 11:49 AM
New system - In the spirit of the School of Ammonius Saccas, and other Alexandrian philosophers, a group eclectically blends aspects of different systems of philosophy and/or reconstructionist religion, thus creating a completely new religion or system.

Sounds like chaotes to me.



paradigm pirates ftw imho....

Theres
October 26th, 2007, 01:39 AM
Sounds like chaotes to me.
chaotic reconstructionists, now there's an interesting concept!


paradigm pirates ftw imho....
"paradigm pirates"... yeah, i'll be borrowing that one.

Rick
October 27th, 2007, 07:24 PM
"Eclectic Reconstruction"


...


I can't even wrap my mind around it...


...and I'll be borrowing "paradigm pirates" as well...


"Arrrrr! I be piratin' yer paradigm, matey!"

ninurta2008
March 28th, 2009, 12:52 PM
"Eclectic Reconstruction"


...


I can't even wrap my mind around it...


...and I'll be borrowing "paradigm pirates" as well...


"Arrrrr! I be piratin' yer paradigm, matey!"

Look up ancient egyptian and Ancient greek mythology, and Roman mythology, they were very eclectic. I mean many ancient cultures were eclectic with borrowing myths from other cultures.

A famous example, Mithras. Mithras was borrowed from the persian Mithra, and was a deity who spread to India, Anatolia, Greece, Rome and even Britain. they weren't by any means zoroastrians, but they borrowed their deity.

Adonis, greek? Well partly, it comes from the phoenician Adoni (I think thats how its spelled)

Resheph, besides being mesopotamian, he turned up in egypt because they borrowed the deity and put him in their pantheon.

The list goes on and on, no ancient culture held the same beliefs forever. They are constantly in state of change.

David19
June 20th, 2009, 03:15 PM
"Eclectic Reconstruction"


...


I can't even wrap my mind around it...


...and I'll be borrowing "paradigm pirates" as well...


"Arrrrr! I be piratin' yer paradigm, matey!"

:lol: Every time I see your post, I laugh out loud :thumbsup:.

ninurta2008
August 7th, 2009, 03:13 PM
What's a paradigm?

how do you pirate a paradigm.

Corvis Canis Latrans
August 7th, 2009, 03:20 PM
Look up ancient egyptian and Ancient greek mythology, and Roman mythology, they were very eclectic. I mean many ancient cultures were eclectic with borrowing myths from other cultures.

A famous example, Mithras. Mithras was borrowed from the persian Mithra, and was a deity who spread to India, Anatolia, Greece, Rome and even Britain. they weren't by any means zoroastrians, but they borrowed their deity.

Adonis, greek? Well partly, it comes from the phoenician Adoni (I think thats how its spelled)

Resheph, besides being mesopotamian, he turned up in egypt because they borrowed the deity and put him in their pantheon.

The list goes on and on, no ancient culture held the same beliefs forever. They are constantly in state of change.

QFT!

Everything adapts and changes. Everything.

Twinkle
August 7th, 2009, 03:28 PM
Multi-religious - The observance by an individual or group to two or more reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions, making use of paradigm shifting. This method does not attempt to combine the individual religions, and each remains distinct.

New system - In the spirit of the School of Ammonius Saccas, and other Alexandrian philosophers, a group eclectically blends aspects of different systems of philosophy and/or reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religion, thus creating a completely new religion or system.


That was the original premise.

I've actually known people who were multi religious (practitioner of Asatru, Hellenismos, and Buddhism) who shifted their cultural paradigm and worship to be culturally appropriate and orthopraxic.

A new religion or system would not be a reconstruction of the original, but an incorporation of many different systems of recon religions or philosophies.

While it could be argued that all religions adapt, that's not the original point of what I was bringing forth here in the Recon Board.

It was mainly a brain picking thing that seemed to generate little to no interest - so I dropped it.

ninurta2008
August 7th, 2009, 08:05 PM
Multi-religious - The observance by an individual or group to two or more reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions, making use of paradigm shifting. This method does not attempt to combine the individual religions, and each remains distinct.

New system - In the spirit of the School of Ammonius Saccas, and other Alexandrian philosophers, a group eclectically blends aspects of different systems of philosophy and/or reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religion, thus creating a completely new religion or system.


That was the original premise.

I've actually known people who were multi religious (practitioner of Asatru, Hellenismos, and Buddhism) who shifted their cultural paradigm and worship to be culturally appropriate and orthopraxic.

A new religion or system would not be a reconstruction of the original, but an incorporation of many different systems of recon religions or philosophies.

While it could be argued that all religions adapt, that's not the original point of what I was bringing forth here in the Recon Board.

It was mainly a brain picking thing that seemed to generate little to no interest - so I dropped it.
Okay, but whats a paradigm pirate?

So you can be a recon of more than one religion at once? If i understand that right. and you would be multi-religious?

Twinkle
August 7th, 2009, 10:11 PM
You'd have to ask Rick to answer that question for you. I'm guessing what he means is that people choosing to practice two Reconstructionist religions at the same time are hijacking a paradigm when it suits them, and not living the worldview - which is considered core for some, if not most, Reconstructionists.

My thought is that a multireligionist would be practicing at least two separate (in this case) recon religions with different pantheons and paradigms, and shifting them each time they worship.

I thought maybe a good term for this kind of practice would be an Eclectic Recon, but it seems to have been rejected by the Recons posting on this particular thread.

I've since lost interest - as I stick with one paradigm and one world view.

It was a rather boring intellectual exercise.

BenSt
August 7th, 2009, 10:18 PM
If not impossible to do. as a paradigm permeates almost everything, would it really be possible to think in two different paradigms? I don't think fully.

I find it an interesting idea Twinkle, to be honest. I mean I don't claim to be a recon, since I follow a religion that has continued in existence... and most recons are bringing back to life dead traditions.

I think there certainly can be and is eclecticism within a tradition... where one may interpret or intentionally use ritual forms or elements from two competing sects. But I would call this more syncretism rather than eclectic.

But like most dedicated recons, I would share their view of looking down on eclecticism in the sense of bringing in foreign elements without really thinking about them. It happens with Hinduism ALL... (allll) the time. Someone thinks that it's cool to use Yantras as symbols of Gods, without realizing what a yantra actually is. Or they'll sing a religious song without understanding meaning or purpose and argue that it soothes their soul, when it isnt meant to do that etc,.

BenSt
August 7th, 2009, 10:21 PM
I think it's a little more complicated than that. With these... it wasnt eclecticism and was instead full fledged assimilation where a new God, with rituals and myths were formed. It wasn't at all like the Hellenes took Adoni and still referred to him as a Phoenecian deity... it was more, Adonis became a Greek deity with Phoenician origins. the myth was formd and changed for this new form to be Greek and nothing else. Very different from eclecticism.


Look up ancient egyptian and Ancient greek mythology, and Roman mythology, they were very eclectic. I mean many ancient cultures were eclectic with borrowing myths from other cultures.

A famous example, Mithras. Mithras was borrowed from the persian Mithra, and was a deity who spread to India, Anatolia, Greece, Rome and even Britain. they weren't by any means zoroastrians, but they borrowed their deity.

Adonis, greek? Well partly, it comes from the phoenician Adoni (I think thats how its spelled)

Resheph, besides being mesopotamian, he turned up in egypt because they borrowed the deity and put him in their pantheon.

The list goes on and on, no ancient culture held the same beliefs forever. They are constantly in state of change.

Shawn Blackwolf
August 7th, 2009, 10:43 PM
20 cents , American...:thumbsup:


What's a paradigm?

BenSt
August 7th, 2009, 10:45 PM
20 cents , American...:thumbsup:

bahahaha :crown:

Twinkle
August 7th, 2009, 10:46 PM
If not impossible to do. as a paradigm permeates almost everything, would it really be possible to think in two different paradigms? I don't think fully.

I find it an interesting idea Twinkle, to be honest. I mean I don't claim to be a recon, since I follow a religion that has continued in existence... and most recons are bringing back to life dead traditions.

I think there certainly can be and is eclecticism within a tradition... where one may interpret or intentionally use ritual forms or elements from two competing sects. But I would call this more syncretism rather than eclectic.

But like most dedicated recons, I would share their view of looking down on eclecticism in the sense of bringing in foreign elements without really thinking about them. It happens with Hinduism ALL... (allll) the time. Someone thinks that it's cool to use Yantras as symbols of Gods, without realizing what a yantra actually is. Or they'll sing a religious song without understanding meaning or purpose and argue that it soothes their soul, when it isnt meant to do that etc,.

I used the term eclectic on purpose, because the multireligionist couldn't be syncretic, like a Greco-Egyptian syncretist would.

I do believe that this sort of practice could be problematic from a Recon perspective, and in retrospect think it could actually muddy the waters more than help anything.

I am glad you think it's an interesting idea. I thought it was worth taking a look at when I first posted this about a year ago.

BenSt
August 7th, 2009, 11:01 PM
I used the term eclectic on purpose, because the multireligionist couldn't be syncretic, like a Greco-Egyptian syncretist would.

I do believe that this sort of practice could be problematic from a Recon perspective, and in retrospect think it could actually muddy the waters more than help anything.

I am glad you think it's an interesting idea. I thought it was worth taking a look at when I first posted this about a year ago.

Well, I think it all depends on what view we take...whether it becomes muddy or not. I think what I find interesting is that what would be allowable now, or appropriate as Pagans (or whatever you use to identify yourself) now taking up an idea of eclectic reconstructionism... would very heavily rely on history, I think. I mean we know that there were a lot of linkages of different religious traditions around the ancient world. Holwever, each one has to be taken into context... and each one now has the authority to stand on it's own.

It just got me thinking also about multicultural societies and how religious elements could have worked their way into traditions to become a uniquely different, regionalized suncretic and eclectic form. I'm thinking of China with the three religious jewels of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucionism. In all areas of China, these different religions came together in different ways... to the point that they all merged to become unified traditions for the people. In the mediterranean we see this also all the time, with egyptian and canaanite (and earlier Hittite) gods being worshipped by both groups in two ways.

There was also a coomon mindset, and I cant say for sure if this was an actual mindset but I've read this... that the reason romans were so willing to bring in other deities is that they saw different religions as ultimatly teaching the same things. and this is true, many if not all Indo-European religions of polytheistic origins had similar trends in myth and cosmology.

So I think with that in mind... at certain time periods it may have been easier. But I certainly dont think that at all time periods was it possible and this is where it would become muddy.

Twinkle
August 7th, 2009, 11:07 PM
I think the Romans were willing to incorporate other deities because it was better to do so for political reasons. Plus, they believed that all deities were really just their Gods with other names.

I'm not a Roman expert, though - so you know. :toofless:

I agree that for it to be done well it must be studied very carefully. Otherwise it would just be some weird hodgepodge with no rhyme or reason to it.

Burning Angel
August 7th, 2009, 11:11 PM
You'd have to ask Rick to answer that question for you. I'm guessing what he means is that people choosing to practice two Reconstructionist religions at the same time are hijacking a paradigm when it suits them, and not living the worldview - which is considered core for some, if not most, Reconstructionists.

I believe the term "paradigm pirate" applies to the chaos magic concept of using whatever religious ideas suit your (usually magical) purpose at the moment - chaotes change beliefs like they change their shoes, as Peter Carroll put it.

However, Rick may have had something else in mind - that was just what I remember my impression being from this thread a while ago :)

~Jon :boing:

Twinkle
August 7th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Oh!! Thank you!

I've never been able to wrap my head around chaos magick - so I didn't recognize the reference.

That makes a lot of sense.

Burning Angel
August 7th, 2009, 11:22 PM
Oh!! Thank you!

I've never been able to wrap my head around chaos magick - so I didn't recognize the reference.

That makes a lot of sense.

No probs - I think chaos magic is awesome stuff, so I study up on it more than most :)

~Jon :boing:

Shawn Blackwolf
August 7th, 2009, 11:28 PM
Now I mean this tongue in cheek...but not , as well...

It could be *the* perfect path , for a schizophrenic...:uhhuhuh:


If not impossible to do. as a paradigm permeates almost everything, would it really be possible to think in two different paradigms? I don't think fully.

BryonMorrigan
August 8th, 2009, 01:42 AM
I think the Romans were willing to incorporate other deities because it was better to do so for political reasons. Plus, they believed that all deities were really just their Gods with other names.

I'm not a Roman expert, though - so you know. :toofless:

I agree that for it to be done well it must be studied very carefully. Otherwise it would just be some weird hodgepodge with no rhyme or reason to it.

As a _bit_ of a Roman "expert," I would say that Roman Polytheism is a whole different ballgame entirely than Hellenic Polytheism. (*) (I generally don't use the term "Hellenismos" unless referring to the religion of Julian.)

If you study the history of the Roman Religion, you see that the original, archaic form consisted of only a small handful of Etruscan deities, and the pantheon essentially _accumulated_ various new gods and goddesses, first from surrounding towns and villages, and later, from as far as Egypt or Gaul. However, all of these deities were essentially worshiped under the Roman Religion. (Latin and Greek rites notwithstanding...)

As my wife put it earlier today: "It's like they were the first Wiccans." Now, she was being facetious at that moment, but she had a point. Like modern Wiccans, they adopted the gods and goddesses of other pantheons and worshiped them, not according to the cultural rites of the foreign deities, but rather according to Roman tradition. So, they're not really worshiping Isis the way that the Egyptians did, they're worshiping Isis as a Roman.

Now, the big question is: Is this "eclectic" in the modern sense of the word? And is Roman Reconstructionism then, by default...eclectic? (I'm not saying either way. It's just something I've been thinking about of late...)

____________________________________________

(*) I tried some time ago to switch from flat-out Roman Reconstructionism to Hellenic Reconstructionism. I thought it would be a fairly simple thing. Change a few lines from Latin to Greek and....

Nope. It's like converting from Judaism to Islam. (They essentially worship the same god too, you know!)

Now, some of the Roman deities who are syncretically linked to the Greek ones are obviously "borrowed" from the Greeks. The most obvious of these is Apollo. But look at how different Minerva and Mars are to Athena and Ares... Night and frickin' day.

I now consider myself a Classical Polytheist, because I try to follow the Religio as it was practiced during the Empire, which is a lot more "variety hour" than the smaller-pantheon, Republican-style that most Recons adhere to. (Kinda like the difference between practicing Hellenic Reconstructionism and Hellenistic Reconstructionism...) If I decide I want to worship a specifically Greek deity, then I will do so from the perspective of a Roman, rather than a Greek. My household worship is entirely Roman. I say "Classical" Polytheist, rather than Roman, because I consider the period of the Empire to encompass all of the varied cults and modes of worship from Hadrian's Wall to North Africa. I say "Polytheist," rather than Recon because I don't aspire to the worldview of Imperial Romans. (Plus, I find some of the Recon snootiness to be personally distasteful.)

(I wonder if you could call it "Imperial Reconstructionism." HA! That sounds so...Star Wars...) :smileroll

Toki Wartooth
August 8th, 2009, 08:30 AM
There was also a coomon mindset, and I cant say for sure if this was an actual mindset but I've read this... that the reason romans were so willing to bring in other deities is that they saw different religions as ultimatly teaching the same things. and this is true, many if not all Indo-European religions of polytheistic origins had similar trends in myth and cosmology.

Well, I know one practice, particularly in war, was that the Romans would actually honor both their already worshiped gods, as well as the enemies' ... and even invite the enemies' gods to be on their side instead. Makes sense if you really, really want to win. ...I'd say the Romans did such things not because of what you said but because it's practical and went to their conquering/ruling goals.


Plus, they believed that all deities were really just their Gods with other names.

I'm not a Roman expert, though - so you know. :toofless:

I think you're hinting at interpretatio romana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretatio_romana#Roman_version).


As a _bit_ of a Roman "expert," I would say that Roman Polytheism is a whole different ballgame entirely than Hellenic Polytheism. (*) (I generally don't use the term "Hellenismos" unless referring to the religion of Julian.)

If you study the history of the Roman Religion, you see that the original, archaic form consisted of only a small handful of Etruscan deities, and the pantheon essentially _accumulated_ various new gods and goddesses, first from surrounding towns and villages, and later, from as far as Egypt or Gaul. However, all of these deities were essentially worshiped under the Roman Religion. (Latin and Greek rites notwithstanding...)

As my wife put it earlier today: "It's like they were the first Wiccans." Now, she was being facetious at that moment, but she had a point. Like modern Wiccans, they adopted the gods and goddesses of other pantheons and worshiped them, not according to the cultural rites of the foreign deities, but rather according to Roman tradition. So, they're not really worshiping Isis the way that the Egyptians did, they're worshiping Isis as a Roman.

Now, the big question is: Is this "eclectic" in the modern sense of the word? And is Roman Reconstructionism then, by default...eclectic? (I'm not saying either way. It's just something I've been thinking about of late...)

____________________________________________

(*) I tried some time ago to switch from flat-out Roman Reconstructionism to Hellenic Reconstructionism. I thought it would be a fairly simple thing. Change a few lines from Latin to Greek and....

Nope. It's like converting from Judaism to Islam. (They essentially worship the same god too, you know!)

Now, some of the Roman deities who are syncretically linked to the Greek ones are obviously "borrowed" from the Greeks. The most obvious of these is Apollo. But look at how different Minerva and Mars are to Athena and Ares... Night and frickin' day.

I now consider myself a Classical Polytheist, because I try to follow the Religio as it was practiced during the Empire, which is a lot more "variety hour" than the smaller-pantheon, Republican-style that most Recons adhere to. (Kinda like the difference between practicing Hellenic Reconstructionism and Hellenistic Reconstructionism...) If I decide I want to worship a specifically Greek deity, then I will do so from the perspective of a Roman, rather than a Greek. My household worship is entirely Roman. I say "Classical" Polytheist, rather than Roman, because I consider the period of the Empire to encompass all of the varied cults and modes of worship from Hadrian's Wall to North Africa. I say "Polytheist," rather than Recon because I don't aspire to the worldview of Imperial Romans. (Plus, I find some of the Recon snootiness to be personally distasteful.)

(I wonder if you could call it "Imperial Reconstructionism." HA! That sounds so...Star Wars...) :smileroll


Oh, neat. Thanks for the information and perspective. Have been wondering the same myself.

Burning Angel
August 8th, 2009, 10:10 AM
(I wonder if you could call it "Imperial Reconstructionism." HA! That sounds so...Star Wars...) :smileroll


I'd go for that...equal parts Palpatine's cult of personality, state-power worship and Dark Side Force usage/study....that sounds like fun! :D

~Jon :boing:

Twinkle
August 8th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Sounds more like the Borg to me.

Burning Angel
August 8th, 2009, 11:38 AM
Sounds more like the Borg to me.

Hardly - the Borg would quash the various forms of expression and have one form of the religion, with no gods that still had recognizably foreign characteristics, and arguably polytheism would be out the window as well. They actually revere particle 010...but that's a geek discussion for another thread :P

However, the Star Wars connection came from the Imperial Reconstructionism thing, rather than Religio Romana itself. I personally prefer the Rebels' scruffy nerf-herder style of eclecticism :P

~Jon :boing:

BryonMorrigan
August 8th, 2009, 01:28 PM
Sounds more like the Borg to me.



I totally have a new idea for my next avatar now. Thanks! :)

BryonMorrigan
August 8th, 2009, 02:09 PM
Well, I know one practice, particularly in war, was that the Romans would actually honor both their already worshiped gods, as well as the enemies' ... and even invite the enemies' gods to be on their side instead. Makes sense if you really, really want to win. ...I'd say the Romans did such things not because of what you said but because it's practical and went to their conquering/ruling goals.

That's certainly the case, particularly in the early stages of Rome, but in other cases, the cults of various deities made their way into Rome via more peaceful means. However, I would argue that this was more prevalent in the Late Republic and Empire.

Now, I don't know much about Hinduism, but I was also wondering about how similar Roman Religion might be to Hinduism. By that, I refer to the many varied, sometimes syncretic, sometimes not, cults and what-not that make up what we Westerners call "Hinduism." (I know there are some Hindus on this board, who certainly would make for a better opinion in this regard. I'm just thinking out loud.)

Toki Wartooth
August 8th, 2009, 04:17 PM
That's certainly the case, particularly in the early stages of Rome, but in other cases, the cults of various deities made their way into Rome via more peaceful means. However, I would argue that this was more prevalent in the Late Republic and Empire.

Oh, I know. I wasn't excluding that. I just highlighted what I did as a response to what Toby and Twinkle had originally mentioned. Sure, the Romans "got" deities through peaceful means, and they did have the interpretatio romana, but I wouldn't entirely say that the Romans had syncretized, adopted, &c. other deities because they felt the same cosmology or the same whatever existed. (The Romans, IIRC, despite seeing other deities through Roman eyes, didn't really have that kind of set way of thinking. Non-dogmatic, since it didn't matter as much what you believed in so much as what you did, probably depending on where you were and what time period it was.)

Twinkle
August 10th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Hardly - the Borg would quash the various forms of expression and have one form of the religion, with no gods that still had recognizably foreign characteristics, and arguably polytheism would be out the window as well. They actually revere particle 010...but that's a geek discussion for another thread :P

However, the Star Wars connection came from the Imperial Reconstructionism thing, rather than Religio Romana itself. I personally prefer the Rebels' scruffy nerf-herder style of eclecticism :P

~Jon :boing:


Does the fact that I'm totally enjoying this conversation make me a geek? Are we both geeks?

If so - kewl.

David19
August 11th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Multi-religious - The observance by an individual or group to two or more reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religions, making use of paradigm shifting. This method does not attempt to combine the individual religions, and each remains distinct.

New system - In the spirit of the School of Ammonius Saccas, and other Alexandrian philosophers, a group eclectically blends aspects of different systems of philosophy and/or reconstructionist (http://paganpedia.mind-n-magick.com/wiki/index.php?title=Polytheistic_Reconstructionism) religion, thus creating a completely new religion or system.


That was the original premise.

I've actually known people who were multi religious (practitioner of Asatru, Hellenismos, and Buddhism) who shifted their cultural paradigm and worship to be culturally appropriate and orthopraxic.

A new religion or system would not be a reconstruction of the original, but an incorporation of many different systems of recon religions or philosophies.

While it could be argued that all religions adapt, that's not the original point of what I was bringing forth here in the Recon Board.

It was mainly a brain picking thing that seemed to generate little to no interest - so I dropped it.

You know when I was reading through YSEE's Hellenic Standard Terminology Lexion, I think I came across Ammonius Saccas, or his Eclectic tradition (I can't remember the exact entry right now), but, that sounds like something that would really interest me, something that I could really get into, so, thankyou for mentioning it, I'll have to look into it a lot more.

BTW, the person you mentioned who pracitces Buddhism, Hellenismos and Asatru, wouldn't be Astalon, would it?, the reason I ask is I know him from the Neos Alexandria Yahoo group, and I liked his article on Greco-Buddhism (http://www.neosalexandria.org/greco_buddhism.htm)).



I'd go for that...equal parts Palpatine's cult of personality, state-power worship and Dark Side Force usage/study....that sounds like fun! :D

~Jon :boing:

Now, that I'd love, studying under the Sith (especially Anakin ;)!).

Twinkle
August 11th, 2009, 05:24 PM
Yes - Astalon. He's a good man with an amazing amount of knowledge stored in his massive brain.

He does seem to go by the label of a tri-religionist - and I've talked with him before about how he is able to worship correctly and orthopraxically, switching his pantheon and paradigm accordingly.

If you want reliable, good, reasoned, and balanced information, seek him out.

aluokaloo
August 11th, 2009, 06:17 PM
isn't eclectic reconstructionist an oxymoron? and yes i'm saying this as an eclectic no account spiritual mutt meself.


it just doesn't make sense since reconstructionism is well re-constructing something. :huh:

Twinkle
August 11th, 2009, 08:18 PM
It does seem like an oxymoron, doesn't it?

However, if you look at the definitions provided, it states that it isn't a formal reconstruction - it couldn't be because of the two differing cultures, pantheons, cultural paradigms, etc.

What it does mean is that the person would be practicing two or more reconstructionist religions orthopraxically, and switching their pantheon and paradigm accordingly.

It seems to me that this would actually be difficult to do - because - as someone pointed out - how do we live two worldviews simultaneously?

At the same time, the worldviews of the ancients seem to be, at least in some respects, similar.

ninurta2008
August 13th, 2009, 07:58 PM
I think it's a little more complicated than that. With these... it wasnt eclecticism and was instead full fledged assimilation where a new God, with rituals and myths were formed. It wasn't at all like the Hellenes took Adoni and still referred to him as a Phoenecian deity... it was more, Adonis became a Greek deity with Phoenician origins. the myth was formd and changed for this new form to be Greek and nothing else. Very different from eclecticism.
If I took Thor and changed him a little bit, and made him look mesopotamian, and I started worshipping him as a Babylonian god, that would be eclectic and fluffy would it not? How would the ancient greeks doing so be any different?

I have been offline a few days, I am suprised i got so many suprises, I am going to try to respond to everyone on this.


isn't eclectic reconstructionist an oxymoron?
Though I now am thinking that maybe there is a better word for it, and I am looking. I wasn't thinking along the terms of the traditional sense of eclecticism and reconstructionism.

I was using them as in:

Reconstructionism - Historical religion that is reconstructed, though I got the term wrong, I thought it was to mean a historically accurate religion that is revived.

And as for eclecticism, I was refering to limiting it to historically accurate paths being taken from, though I think syncretic would have been a better word.

I am looking for different terms, yeah they are a paradox. It wasn't intentional, I promise:uhhuhuh:


it just doesn't make sense since reconstructionism is well re-constructing something. :huh:
Well......I am finding a different term, eclecticism wasn't the right term, and to a lesser degree, but still, reconstructionism is not the term I should've used.


It does seem like an oxymoron, doesn't it?
Yeah, especially now that I got a more full definition of reconstructionism and eclecticism, though it's pointed out to me that I fit neither. I am not certain of a better term,

Multi-religious?
Syncretic?
I don't know would be an answer.

But I think that this is one of those times when you think something is a great idea when you think of it, but when you really really think about it, it just sounds silly. :bigredgri

Though I just want to debunk something very commonly occuring, just because some one in ancient times took a deity and changed it into a deity of his own pantheon at 30 BCE, doesn't make him any less fluffy than a pagan doing the same thing in 2009 CE, and its the kind of fluffiness that annoys me the most. It's not like they are just adopting a deity, which is one thing.

But if you don't like everything about the deity and don't like the deity as it is, chances are, it isn't the deity for you so leave it be, and leave it out of your religion if its not already in your pantheon.

I may not be a recon, but I rely on historically accurate sources, and it irks me that some recons even suggest that its any less fluffy of the people then.

David19
August 14th, 2009, 09:32 PM
Yes - Astalon. He's a good man with an amazing amount of knowledge stored in his massive brain.

He does seem to go by the label of a tri-religionist - and I've talked with him before about how he is able to worship correctly and orthopraxically, switching his pantheon and paradigm accordingly.

If you want reliable, good, reasoned, and balanced information, seek him out.

I thought it might be him, and, yes, he does seem very smart, and has a lot of knowledge about different things, I do like reading the posts he makes and, hopefully, he'll write some more articles (Neos Alexandria is the only site I know he writes for, if you know of any more, please tell me :)).


If I took Thor and changed him a little bit, and made him look mesopotamian, and I started worshipping him as a Babylonian god, that would be eclectic and fluffy would it not? How would the ancient greeks doing so be any different?

I have been offline a few days, I am suprised i got so many suprises, I am going to try to respond to everyone on this.


Though I now am thinking that maybe there is a better word for it, and I am looking. I wasn't thinking along the terms of the traditional sense of eclecticism and reconstructionism.

I was using them as in:

Reconstructionism - Historical religion that is reconstructed, though I got the term wrong, I thought it was to mean a historically accurate religion that is revived.

And as for eclecticism, I was refering to limiting it to historically accurate paths being taken from, though I think syncretic would have been a better word.

I am looking for different terms, yeah they are a paradox. It wasn't intentional, I promise:uhhuhuh:


Well......I am finding a different term, eclecticism wasn't the right term, and to a lesser degree, but still, reconstructionism is not the term I should've used.


Yeah, especially now that I got a more full definition of reconstructionism and eclecticism, though it's pointed out to me that I fit neither. I am not certain of a better term,

Multi-religious?
Syncretic?
I don't know would be an answer.

But I think that this is one of those times when you think something is a great idea when you think of it, but when you really really think about it, it just sounds silly. :bigredgri

Though I just want to debunk something very commonly occuring, just because some one in ancient times took a deity and changed it into a deity of his own pantheon at 30 BCE, doesn't make him any less fluffy than a pagan doing the same thing in 2009 CE, and its the kind of fluffiness that annoys me the most. It's not like they are just adopting a deity, which is one thing.

But if you don't like everything about the deity and don't like the deity as it is, chances are, it isn't the deity for you so leave it be, and leave it out of your religion if its not already in your pantheon.

I may not be a recon, but I rely on historically accurate sources, and it irks me that some recons even suggest that its any less fluffy of the people then.

I don't think what the ancient Hellenes did is the same as what modern fluffy Pagans are doing now, as the ancient Hellenes really investigated a God, they learnt about them, and they found a way to fit a God into their Pantheon, or to equate 2 deities into one (for example, Inanna and Aphrodite, etc). Now, I'm not sure if I believe they'd be the same, but, I kind of like the Kemetic view, which is, as far as I know, Gods can merge into each other, yet still remain distinct, for example, Amun and Ra merged into each other, and became Amun-Ra, but, Amun and Ra are still seperate beings, and now there's a new being in existence - Amun-Ra (I probably, hopelessly, muddled that completely up, so, I'm hoping it made some sense, and, if there are any Kemetic's viewing this, please correct me :)), I kind of think the same things happen with other Gods, they can merge, and a new God comes into existence, e.g. Aset and Demeter (and Aphrodite?) merged to become the Roman Isis, yet Demeter, Aset (as well as maybe Aphrodite?) are still there.

I definitely wouldn't call what the ancient Hellenes did "fluffy", I'd say they, or, at least, most of them had great respect for other Gods, for example, Alexander the Great, if my memory is correct, attributed his victory or some of them to YHWH, the Jewish God (apparantly, YHWH came to Alexander in a dream, and, also, the Jews welcomed Alexander the Great, even today, that traditions continues, with Alexander being a favoured named for Jewish boys (of course, not as great as David ;) !)). I'm reading 'Alexander the Great' by Robin Lane Fox now (well, trying too, I keep getting distracted), and, I have to say, I really admire Alexander, if I ever do decide the Hellenic religion is for me, I think I'd focus on the Hellenistic age, where I could honour Alexander.

ninurta2008
August 15th, 2009, 10:46 PM
I thought it might be him, and, yes, he does seem very smart, and has a lot of knowledge about different things, I do like reading the posts he makes and, hopefully, he'll write some more articles (Neos Alexandria is the only site I know he writes for, if you know of any more, please tell me :)).



I don't think what the ancient Hellenes did is the same as what modern fluffy Pagans are doing now, as the ancient Hellenes really investigated a God, they learnt about them, and they found a way to fit a God into their Pantheon, or to equate 2 deities into one (for example, Inanna and Aphrodite, etc). Now, I'm not sure if I believe they'd be the same, but, I kind of like the Kemetic view, which is, as far as I know, Gods can merge into each other, yet still remain distinct, for example, Amun and Ra merged into each other, and became Amun-Ra, but, Amun and Ra are still seperate beings, and now there's a new being in existence - Amun-Ra (I probably, hopelessly, muddled that completely up, so, I'm hoping it made some sense, and, if there are any Kemetic's viewing this, please correct me :)), I kind of think the same things happen with other Gods, they can merge, and a new God comes into existence, e.g. Aset and Demeter (and Aphrodite?) merged to become the Roman Isis, yet Demeter, Aset (as well as maybe Aphrodite?) are still there.

I definitely wouldn't call what the ancient Hellenes did "fluffy", I'd say they, or, at least, most of them had great respect for other Gods, for example, Alexander the Great, if my memory is correct, attributed his victory or some of them to YHWH, the Jewish God (apparantly, YHWH came to Alexander in a dream, and, also, the Jews welcomed Alexander the Great, even today, that traditions continues, with Alexander being a favoured named for Jewish boys (of course, not as great as David ;) !)). I'm reading 'Alexander the Great' by Robin Lane Fox now (well, trying too, I keep getting distracted), and, I have to say, I really admire Alexander, if I ever do decide the Hellenic religion is for me, I think I'd focus on the Hellenistic age, where I could honour Alexander.
Great point, I would like to note that in these examples there really isn't a problem in my mind. When I said fluffy, I meant specifically people like Herodotus trying to sound like an expert on a religion he knows nothing about. Little did he know, the persians at the time were Zoroastrian, they didn't have gods, they had a single god and angels (some were angelicised deities).

BryonMorrigan
August 15th, 2009, 10:58 PM
I'm reading 'Alexander the Great' by Robin Lane Fox now (well, trying too, I keep getting distracted)...

When you're done, read "Alexander of Macedon" by Peter Green. He takes a much more "neutral" view of Alexander than most authors, showing him as a more flawed human being, which makes some of his stranger choices and mistakes make more sense.

Plus, it's one of the most "readable" academic books that I've ever read. The author's style makes it hard to put it down.

ninurta2008
August 15th, 2009, 11:02 PM
When you're done, read "Alexander of Macedon" by Peter Green. He takes a much more "neutral" view of Alexander than most authors, showing him as a more flawed human being, which makes some of his stranger choices and mistakes make more sense.

Plus, it's one of the most "readable" academic books that I've ever read. The author's style makes it hard to put it down.
I've gotta read it, unconventional presentations of history and stories makes my mouth water.